(9-3, 5-0 in TVC East, state quarterfinalist)
Week 1: Aug. 29 at Bay City Central (2-7)
This will be the third year in a row the Division 5 Eagles have opened the season against the Division 2 Wolves. Frankenmuth has won both contests – the only two times the teams have played – 28-21 in 2017 and 35-12 last year. The Eagles will have to contend with one of the best players in the state – Devell Washington – a 6-foot-4, 220-pound wide receiver who has committed to play football at the University of West Virginia.
Week 2: Sept. 6 vs. Standish-Sterling (4-5)
As a new member of the Tri-Valley Conference Central, there will be some unfamiliar opponents for the Eagles this year. One of them is Standish-Sterling, which will play Frankenmuth for the first time this year. This is the fourth year of TVC-Central play for the Panthers, who have not made the playoffs since the 2013 season. Prior to that, S-S qualified for the postseason in eight of the previous nine years.
Week 3: Sept. 13 at Bridgeport (4-5)
Because the TVC consolidated from three to two, some rivalries will remain, such as the Bridgeport/Frankenmuth matchup. This one has been dominated by the Eagles, who have won 24 of 26 games. The Bearcats have been solid of late, advancing to the playoffs in 2017 for the second time in school history, and finishing with a 4-5 record last year.
Week 4: Sept. 20 at Freeland (7-4)
Freeland and Frankenmuth have met six times in the last four years, two of which were playoff games. A TVC crossover game in the past – which has been played in Week 9 the past four seasons – this rivalry now has league title implications. Before the 2013 season, the two squads had met only on the gridiron. Now, it is one of the fiercest rivalries in mid-Michigan. The Eagles and Falcons met in the playoffs in 2013, 2015 and 2016, with Frankenmuth emerging victorious twice.
Week 5: Sept. 30 vs. Swan Valley (12-1)
The Vikings have been one of the best teams in the state the last two years, advancing to the Division 5 semifinals last year and the state championship game in 2017. Last year, in the first matchup between the two teams since 2010, the Eagles were merely a blip on Swan Valley’s road to a 12-1 season. Between 2002 and 2010, the Eagles and Vikings met in each season opener. Frankenmuth holds a 12-11 all-time advantage in the series.
Week 6: Oct. 4 vs. Garber (5-4)
Garber is another team that switched from the East to Central division in the latest TVC shakeup. The two teams know each other well, as this will be the 41st straight season in which the two have met in a conference matchup. Frankenmuth has won 10 straight games against the Dukes, including a 56-18 victory last year, and is 31-11 since 1950.
Week 7: Oct. 11 at Alma (9-2)
What has become an intense rivalry on the basketball court will now spill over to the football field. These two have never met in the regular season, and have played only once – a 21-6 Frankenmuth victory in the first round of the 1997 Class B playoffs.
Week 8: Oct. 18 at Birch Run (5-5)
Birch Run also switched from the TVC East to Central, so this will be a familiar matchup for both teams. Despite losing 28-0 to the Eagles last season, Birch Run would slip into the playoffs with a 5-4 regular-season record before losing to Almont in the first round of the Division 5 postseason. Frankenmuth has won its last eight contests with the Panthers and is 30-15 since 1950.
Week 9: Oct. 19 vs. New Lothrop (13-1)
The Eagles will wrap up the regular season playing a bona fide powerhouse. Last year’s Division 7 state champion, New Lothrop has reached the playoffs in 19 consecutive years, and played in 31 playoff games in the last 10. The two have met only once before, when the Hornets won 30-7 in